Day Dreamer

You know how, at one point or another, you have a conversation about what you want to do with your life? The type of thing that includes where you want to go, who you want to be and what you want to do when you grow up? Essentially, a bucket list.

Well, here’s part of mine:

  • travel to all 50 states
  • ride Route 66 on the back of a motorcycle
  • inspire someone
  • leave a legacy of kindness
  • become a consistent thank you note writer
  • learn to play guitar, and do it well
  • read all the classic novels
  • go on a mission trip to another country
  • raise brilliant and creative children
  • dress impeccably
  • “flip” an old house into the best house on the street
  • work as a leadership trainer
  • volunteer and donate to fantastic organizations in need
  • marvel in the beauty of this world
  • take a trip to anywhere and document the whole thing with pictures
  • teach kids that they are smart and have talents
  • be bold

I realize that this lacks a point and really serves no purpose. But as I sit in classes and waste the days away until summer, I can’t help but dream.

 

 

Video

Brighten Your Day with Some Motivation!

If you have not investigated the YouTube sensation, Kid President, let me tell ya, it’s worth your time. Produced by Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office), these videos are hysterical and often contain some kind of positive message. The channel, Soul Pancake, also posts videos about real stories, short films, artist features, and so on. I highly suggest checking this out the next time you’re in the mood to waste some time. (But it’s not really a waste!)

About Me

I’m struggling to find a worth while topic to blurt out my thoughts on, so why not focus on myself for a quick minute?

I was born in Nevada, MO and shortly after, my parents had my little sister, Molly. The four of us (plus our cocker mix, Belle) moved to the Chicago suburbs when I was 5. After four years of fantastic memories and tight budgets, we got transferred back down to Missouri. During year one of our return, my mom had my second sister, Sophie. I have now called Carthage my home for 10 years.

I love Carthage and all the corky things that come with it like football cheers, the Maple Leaf Festival, Marian Days and the infamous Whisler Burgers. I really hope to live there after school.

Speaking of school, I am a special education major and a closet leadership trainer-aspirer. Before I teach middle school kids about social skills, I have explored the idea of being a corporate leadership trainer. Ever since my stint as an FBLA state officer, I have loved working with people and running leadership events. It’s something that I don’t want forever, but can’t seem to just forget about.

Now that I’m lacking a satisfactory transition, I’ll just list off the basic “fun facts.”

  • I love to visit Chicago! I could spend forever on the Navy Pier and have even been to the top of Sear’s Tower when it was still called Sear’s Tower and the tallest building in the world.
  • Each summer I eat enough pineapple to make my mouth raw with canker sores. Needless to say, fresh pineapple is my favorite food regardless of the side effects.
  • I am a picky-eater in slow remission. I try and eat new things often and branch out my tastebuds. However, I have discovered that my dislike of cucumbers, potatos and green beans is still active.
  • I would much rather do something active on a date than sit in a dark theater. I like bike rides (motor or petal), hikes, float trips, walks around old neighborhoods, so on and so forth.
  • I could swing on a swingset all day long.

I believe that’s enough access into my world for this evening. As usual this blog is finished just before the deadline! Goodnight folks

Happiness in Mediocrity

This weekend is President’s Day weekend, so therefore the entire campus decided to shut down. I spent the first part of the break on a trip with the Lutheran Student Center, returning to my dorm on Sunday afternoon. Everything was dead. A majority of my friends had left two days earlier and I’ve already been feeling homesick this semester. Basically it added up to a pity party for me. What’s a girl to do? Call mom.

 

She said that I was being a baby, but being the awesome momma that she is, hopped in the car and drove an hour to Springfield to pick me up! I got to eat real food, sleep in my queen sized bed and enjoy a little time with my greatly missed family, even if my stay is less than 24 hours.

 

Reflecting on this whole ordeal, I think that there is great comfort in just some mediocrity. When I got home I did nothing super fun or see anyone special beyond my dogs. I ate normal food and three too many peanut butter cookies. However, it has been so calming to be back and it has put me in a great mood. I think my generation in particular is so caught up in being stimulated and entertained that we forget to enjoy small things like familiar roads and a hug from a little sister.

 

College has been fantastic so far and I feel like I mature and grow all the time, but this weekend has been a reminder that I’m not ready to be an adult yet. I still need to come home to normal things and enjoy time with my sisters that are growing up all too fast.

 

As we branch out and prepare for real life it is important to remain appreciative of the path that brought us here. Be happy with watching Glee re-runs with the family and cuddling up with the dog. There is not always a need for excitement, but just happiness in what you’ve got.

Population Control

As the world population continues to grow, people are beginning to realize that wide open spaces may quickly become tightly packed cities without control of birth rates.

                China is the only country to prohibit the birth of more than one child per family. Any additional pregnancies are excessively fined. (There are often rumors that many pregnancies are ended with an illegal mandatory abortion.) While this result is very harsh in comparison to India, Iran and the United States that only strongly encourage family planning, I question why fertile males and females are not simply sterilized after their first child. This seems to be the most humane option.

                An alternative to the dilemma in China is to implement specific criteria for potential parents. I would suggest an automatic sterilization of any mature male or female with a below average IQ or cognitive development.  Next, people with serious genetic conditions, like sickle cell disease or cystic fibrosis, would not be allowed to procreate.  Because of modern medicine, individuals with such ailments live much longer, increasing the probability of baring children. Sterilization would prevent the genetic exchange of serious conditions and ultimately reduce the occurrence of these devastating diseases. (I am not against modern medicine, but it does interfere with natural occurrences regarding longevity.)

                Now, I am not so cruel as to say that individuals that didn’t meet the established procreation guidelines couldn’t be parents. Adoption is a great system that places over 100,000 children every year in the United States. Fiscally and mentally capable adults would be encouraged to expand their families through adoption.  To draw a comparison, Tristan (from the folk tale, Tristan and Iseult) was adopted and was given great opportunities through his uncle. (His situation may have been very different without his uncle’s influence and fatherhood.)  

Ultimately, according to Darwin’s theory on survival of the fittest, the earth eliminates over-population with various natural methods (disease, starvation, poor living conditions). The best in a population of animals will survive and the weak links will die off. Unfortunately, humans could face this very same dreadful fate without some biological control of rapid reproduction. Sterilization is the simplest solution that prevents mass natural disaster.

Stimulating Creativity

    The goal of public education is to adequately prepare children and young adults for their futures in the “real world.” At one point in American history, this meant equipping students with the tools to perform mechanical, industry jobs. This meant a focus on math, sciences and literacy. Meant is the key word in these statements. Today, what is more important for preparation? Should we be training factory workers or artists? We have the technology, what is being demanded now?

Art.

     John F. Kennedy once said, “If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.” This idea of free flowing creativity is not novel, but rather lacking overall. If educational ideals do not shift, students will be sorely unprepared for the demands of a designing world.

     An obvious observation of our society’s progression is the higher demand for the newest, coolest item. This includes cars, gadgets and media tools. However, we aren’t looking for people to discover the latest car or the new cell phone. That technology is covered. We want the prettiest car or the sleekest phone. These demands are currently met by the select few that managed to escape the monotony of technical education (about 9.2% of college graduates according to the National Center for Educational Statistics).

     Logical reasoning lends itself to the belief that our country must adapt to these demands in order to remain successful and competitive. For example, during the Industrial Revolution, people lost jobs to machines. Now people are losing jobs to foreign countries, but have not accepted the fact that they must adapt to what is needed at this time. The first step in promoting this change is within our school systems.

     Congressional law makers only demand measurable results of student success in core subjects like math and reading. Elementary students may have lessons on math skills five days a week, but music education only happens once a week. Also, when budgets are tight, fine arts are often the first to go. There is very little emphasis on developing curiosity and artistic talent in any facet (art, music, writing). It saddens me to think of the admiration and respect given to Tristan by his court and king, and how that same standard of appreciation cannot be found today.

     It should be of the upmost importance of teachers at all stages to stimulate creativity and imagination. Our ever-changing societal trends are demanding it and students should be prepared to compete not only with smarts, but with new ideas.

Spring Recruitment

This week and last week have been the spring recruitment period for my sorority, Gamma Phi Beta. After spending several hours trying to talk to girls and sparking an interest in greek life it dawned on me that this whole process is really weird. If you break it down to the bare minimum it looks like this: We attempt to look as cute as possible in order to attract girls. We stand awkwardly in various locations on campus to perform this task and essentially bombard girls until they agree to hand over their contact info. Then we proceed to “date” these girls for a week to see if we’re actually interested in them beyond the fact that they too “looked cute.” Finally we vote to accept the girl and throw a big celebration in their honor. This is not the usual way of making friends. But what if dating went down like that? It would be so much easier to find a decent guy!

Girls would set up tables and look as cute as possible to collect contact info from a guy. Next we would set up activities throughout the week to “test-drive” this potential soul mate. All of our friends would then vote on whether or not said guy was good enough to date you and at the end there would be a big party! We could call it boyfriend recruitment! (But if we’re being honest here, this is almost how it goes anyway.)

The moral of the story is that even though this time has been reserved for recruiting new sisters, we live in a day-to-day recruitment of sorts. Our relationships are determined by the first awkward moments and followed by either bonding or moving on. I think it’s important to always put on your best face, but not one that isn’t true to who you are and what you’re about.